The Responsibility to Protect in a changing world order
Thursday 17 Sep 2020, 14:30 – 15:30 BST
Participants: Adrian Gallagher (University of Leeds), Luke Glanville (Australian National University), Justin Morris (University of Hull), James Pattison (University of Manchester), Cristina Stefan (University of Leeds), Jennifer Welsh (McGill), Nicholas J Wheeler (Birmingham)
This roundtable brings together experts in the field to analyse the Responsibility to Protect in the context of a changing world order. The RtoP was born in a so-called ‘liberal era’. At the time, the Commission’s recommendations went to the very heart of international relations as they spoke to ‘state sovereignty’, ‘intervention’, ‘human rights’, ‘human security’ and the ‘question of authority’. Yet the perceived crisis in liberalism over the last decade has led academics to question whether we are experiencing ‘the end of the liberal International order?’ (Ikenberry 2018).
Against this backdrop, there is a pressing need to re-consider the RtoP in an era of shifting power balances. To do this, Adrian Gallagher, Justin Morris, and Nick Wheeler analyse the relationship between ‘responsibility’ and ‘trust’ in relation to the use of force. Despite the vast proliferation of RtoP literature over the past twenty years, this is the first article to focus on ‘trust’ and acts as a catalyst call for future research.
Cristina Stefan asks the pertinent question, ‘where is norm entrepreneurship twenty years on?’. In so doing, she shines a spotlight on Western and Non-Western norm shapers in an era of transitional change whilst also linking the RtoP to other global agendas such as Women, Peace and Security.
Luke Glanville and James Pattison look at the ethics of ‘prioritisation’ as they question, where states should prioritise their attention and resources? When one considers the increase in mass atrocities since 2010, there is an urgent need to grapple with the ethical complexities involved.
Finally, former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on RtoP, Jennifer Welsh examines the way the UN Security Council has both acted, and failed to act, in fulfilling the RtoP in the 20 years since inception. It revisits the original report to identify two key issues for the contemporary ear of geopolitical rivalry. The proposed contributions are to be published as a roundtable in Ethics and International Affairs in 2021 with an introduction by Michael Ignatieff.